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Which retail companies have reported the most successful year-over-year growth? How much did company X spend on its latest expansion? In the Retail TouchPoints Financial News section, industry insiders can find out what their peers are spending and how they are faring in the marketplace. This information can be useful for future implementation strategies, real estate ventures and growth opportunities.

Blue Apron Seeks IPO To Raise More Than $500M

Blue Apron is seeking an IPO that could raise more than $500 million for the meal kit delivery service that, despite impressive growth, has yet to turn a profit. The move comes just days after Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market radically reshaped both the supermarket and food delivery landscapes. In its prospectus for the IPO, Blue Apron said it planned to price its shares between $15 and $17, which translates to a valuation for the company of up to $3.2 billion, according to the New York Times. In 2016, Blue Apron earned $795.4 million in revenue, more than doubling the previous year’s total. The company has continued to lose money — $54.9 million last year — due to major expenditures on marketing and growth capabilities.

Unbxd Raises $12.5 Million To Improve AI Platform

Unbxd, an e-Commerce product discovery platform, has raised $12.5 million in Series C funding led by Eight Roads Ventures, the investment arm of Fidelity International Limited. The company will use the funding to enhance its proprietary Intelligence Engine and open new offices in Chicago and New York.

INTURN Raises $22.5 Million To Accelerate Global Growth

INTURN, a retail technology and B2B platform provider, has raised $22.5 million in Series B financing from venture capital firm B Capital Group. The company aims to use the funding to support and expand its growth globally. The INTURN platform helps brands sell excess inventory to retailers in privately controlled offerings. This B2B exchange is designed to turn inventory faster, improve cash flow and optimize returns.

Packagd Launches Video Product Review App, Raises $6 Million In Funding

Packagd, a mobile video platform launched in 2016, has introduced Unboxed, an app that offers curated, hosted shows of tech products, gadgets and devices. Forerunner Ventures and GV (formerly Google Ventures) led a $6 million Series A financing round for Packagd, bringing the company’s total funding to $7.5 million.

The RealReal Reels In $50 Million As Brick-And-Mortar Strategy Becomes Reality

Luxury consignment retailer The RealReal has closed a $50 million growth equity financing round from private equity firm Great Hill Partners. Since its inception, the company has acquired $173 million in funding. The RealReal will use this latest round of financing to scale operations, category expertise and expand its Luxury Consignment Offices and retail concepts. The RealReal’s CEO and Founder Julie Wainwright revealed in an interview with TechCrunch that the company is developing a brick-and-mortar strategy — starting with a New York City location that is scheduled to open in Fall or Winter 2017. This news comes following the success of The RealReal’s first pop-up store, which opened in December 2016 in SoHo. In two weeks alone, the shop raked in nearly $2 million in sales.

Gymboree Misses $171 Million Interest Payment…Bankruptcy Next?

Children’s apparel retailer Gymboree is expected to file for bankruptcy in the coming weeks after missing a $171 million interest payment due June 1. As of June 2, Gymboree has a 30-day grace period to make a belated payment, according to an SEC filing. The retailer has been in talks with investment banks and advisors on ways to repair its balance sheet since January 2017. With the missed payment, valued at a 9.125% rate through 2018, S&P Global Ratings lowered the company’s debt rating to "D" for default. Roughly $872 million of the company's roughly $1.1 billion total debt is due within 12 months, with S&P noting that “operating trends continue to deteriorate.”

Target Leads $170 Million Funding Round For Casper

UPDATE: Casper confirmed it has raised a $170 million Series C investment round led by Target. Existing investors Lerer Hippeau Ventures, IVP and New Enterprise Associates are participating in the round alongside new investors such as Tresalia, IVP, Irving Capital and Norwest. High-profile entertainers and athletes also join the round — including Kevin Spacey, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, professional snowboarder Shaun White, and NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving and Andre Iguodala. With the round, Casper's total funding to date has reached $240 million. Casper will use the funding to expand its R&D capabilities and launch a design lab in San Francisco, a facility and engineering team dedicated to developing new products — from re-designed soft goods to "connected sleep" products. Additionally, the funding is designed to enable the brand to scale its online and offline distribution models. It appears the recent partnership between Target and online mattress seller Casper will go beyond just in-store product sales. Target has reportedly finalized a $75 million investment in Casper, leading a funding round that is expected to top $100 million, according to Recode. Existing Casper investors Lerer Hippeau Ventures, IVP and New Enterprise Associates also are participating in the round. The investment comes after Target and Casper…

Sears Reduces Short-Term Debt Burden With Loan Extension

In the wake of financial struggles that saw the brand report more than $2.2 billion in losses in 2016, Sears Holdings is doing everything it can to stave off a possible bankruptcy. The embattled retailer entered agreements to extend a portion of its $500 million 2016 secured loan facility. As part of the agreement, Sears will repay $100 million of the loan on its original maturity date of July 2017 while extending the maturity of the loan’s remainder until January 2018. The agreement also provides an option to further extend the loan maturity for an additional six months to July 2018.

Ralph Lauren Names Former P&G Exec As New CEO

Three months after Stefan Larsson announced he would step down as CEO of Ralph Lauren, the luxury brand has named a replacement. Former Proctor & Gamble exec Patrice Louvet will helm the role of President and CEO effective July 17, 2017. Louvet also will join the retailer’s Board of Directors, where he will report to Executive Chairman and namesake founder Ralph Lauren.

Do Next-Gen Target Stores Breed Hope For A Turnaround?

Target totally outperformed Wall Street expectations in Q1, perhaps sharing optimism that the retailer is set to experience a reversal of fortunes from its recent stagnation. While revenue fell 1.1% to $16 billion, it beat revenue estimates of $15.62 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Additionally, comparable stores sales dipped 1.3%, but the numbers were far less bleak than the forecasts of a 3.7% decline. Comparable store sales declines across the brand can not been spun into a positive, as they illustrate a clear dip in traffic and sales at established stores. But in an earnings call, Target COO John Mulligan pointed out that the stores that have been remodeled since Fall 2016 are seeing a 2% to 4% sales lift, particularly the 10 that are most similar to the retailer’s proposed “next-generation” stores.

Rue21 Files For Bankruptcy As Teen Trauma Strikes Again

One month after announcing it would close 400 of its 1,179 stores to focus on its e-Commerce business, rue21 has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The teen apparel retailer expects to continue normal business operations, but may evaluate additional store closings throughout this process. In the months leading up to…
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Amazon Plays Hardball: Outscores Sporting Goods Growth Rate By 4X In 2016

Amazon accounted for less than 5% of all U.S. outdoor and sporting goods sales in 2016 — $5.5 billion out of a total market of $120 billion. But with a growth rate that is four times the 5% achieved by the industry as a whole, Amazon is likely to rack up bigger numbers on the scoreboard before long. These stats have brought Nathan Rigby, VP of Sales and Marketing at One Click Retail, to one conclusion: brands must build a working relationship with the e-Commerce giant. In fact, he believes that modern outdoor and sporting goods brands that don’t have a data-driven Amazon strategy in place will underperform or go bankrupt within the next five years.

Central Grocers Files For Bankruptcy As Creditors Seek Payment

The grocery sector has largely managed to insulate itself from retail’s bankruptcy bug of 2017, but Central Grocers has succumbed to the “illness.” The grocery cooperative serving independent supermarkets has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will seek a court-led auction of its assets, including its distribution center in…
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